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July 2003

Behind the Cover: The Guthka Story

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(7):699-700. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.7.699

THE LITTLE India neighborhood in Singapore is visually dazzling. Shops are bedecked with flower garlands of yellow marigolds, purple orchids, and all the daily accoutrements of Indian culture. We stopped short at artfully arranged stacks of large round flat leaves. We were excited to discover that they were indeed betel leaves. You don't see betel leaves on the streets of New York! Nearby, hung strips of foil packets, their sinister nature more manifest. These were guthka packets, bearing the obligatory warning: "Smoking Kills."